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Nutrition for Older Adults: USDA MyPlate Plan

USDA MyPlate Groups

Chose MyPlate.gov - fruits, grains, diary, protein and vegetables.

MyPlate is USDA’s food group symbol. The MyPlate symbol is a reminder to make healthy food choices. Each USDA MyPlate food group is represented by a different color on MyPlate.

 

  • Grains – orange.
  • Vegetables – green.
  • Fruits – red.
  • Dairy – blue.
  • Protein foods – purple.

 

Grains: Make Half Your Grains Whole Grains

Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another Choose MyPlate.gov - Grainscereal grain is part of this group. Grains are divided into either whole grains or refined grains. In general 1 ounce from the grains group is:

  • 1 slice of bread.
  • 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal.
  • ½ cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal.

 

 

Vegetables: Vary Your Veggies

Any vegetable or 100 percent vegetable juice is part of this group. Choose MyPlate.gov - VegetablesVegetables are divided into five subgroups including dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans, peas and lentils; starchy vegetables, and other vegetables. In general 1 cup from the vegetables group is:

  • 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice.
  • 2 cups of raw leafy greens is considered as 1 cup from the vegetables group.

 

Fruits: Focus on Fruits

Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice is part of this group. In general Choose MyPlate.gov - Fruits1 cup from the fruits group is:

  • 1 cup of fruit or 100 percent fruit juice.
  • ½ cup of dried fruit.

 

 

Dairy: Move to Low-Fat or Fat-Free Milk or Yogurt

All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are part of this food Choose MyPlate.gov - Diarygroup. Foods made from milk that keep their calcium content are part of this group. Foods made from milk with little or no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, or butter, are not part of this group. Calcium-fortified soymilk is also part of this food group. In general 1 cup from the dairy group is:

  • 1 cup of milk, yogurt or soymilk.
  • 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese.
  • 2 ounces of processed cheese.

 

 

Protein Foods: Vary Your Protein Routine

Meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, nuts, seeds and soy products are part of this group. Beans, peas and lentils can be considered part of the protein foods group as well as the vegetable group, but should be counted in one group only. In general 1 ounce from the protein foods group is:A white pie chart with the protein section filled in purple.

  • 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish.
  • ¼ cup cooked dry beans.
  • 1 egg.
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • ½ ounce of nuts or seeds.

 

Sources

United States Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2024. Accessed at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/

United States Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate.gov. Accessed at: www.choosemyplate.gov

 

 

Janice Hermann 

Extension Nutrition Specialist

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